Gardening This Weekend: August 13, 2020

School, in whatever its fashion, either has started or soon will. It’s still quite warm, and there are some really important late-summer gardening tasks. You’ll find them in the list below.

Beginning next week I’ll be guiding you to the application of pre-emergent granules to stop germination of annual bluegrass (Poa annua), rescuegrass and ryegrass. Be watching for details. Timing: August 25 through Labor Day weekend.

Zinnias, marigolds, celosias and other fall-color annuals. Set out vigorous potted transplants immediately, preferably in bud but not yet in bloom. They’ll establish and bloom much better than plants that have already come into full flower. And you won’t believe the intensity of their colors in fall’s cooler weather.
Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower transplants. This is the prime weekend to plant them.
New turfgrass as soon as possible to give it several weeks to establish good roots before cool weather returns.

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Dead branches out of trees, shrubs, whether caused by winter kill or summer drought. You can still retrain crape myrtles that were damaged by last winter’s cold (early first freeze).
Wild branches extending way out beyond canopies of shrubs to maintain natural growth forms. Whenever possible avoid squared or globular shapes to lessen your workload.
Pinch growing tips from overgrown coleus, begonias, other summer annuals to keep them compact through fall season.

Bermuda lawns with all-nitrogen food to keep them vigorous and green. Wait 2-3 weeks to fertilize St. Augustine to lessen chance of gray leaf spot outbreak during the heat.
Patio pots and hanging baskets, also annual beds and fall vegetable plantings with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food to promote vigorous growth up until frost.
Chlorotic iron-deficient plants (yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominent on newest growth) with iron/sulfur product. Iron products can stain, so be cautious when using them near bricks, stone or concrete.

Nutsedge (nutgrass) in lawns, beds. The next few days will be your last chance to apply Image (original form), Sedgehammer to kill it.
Chinch bugs continue to dominate St. Augustine lawns. We just treated our lawn two days ago. They are active and very damaging. Your local nursery or hardware store will have several products to stop them.
Gray leaf spot causes St. Augustine to take on a yellowed cast. On close inspection you’ll see BB-sized gray lesions on the blades. If so, apply Azoxystrobin (Sold as Scotts Disease-EX) to stop its spread. Wait 2-4 weeks to fertilize St. Augustine. Nitrogen exacerbates development of the fungus in summer’s heat.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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